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Adult Obesity Rates Continue To Rise

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Adult Obesity Rates Continue To Rise

Adult Obesity Rates Continue To Rise

Photo by Kenny Goldberg

: Physical activity specialist Angelina Renteria watches over Jackie Withers as she goes through her regular workout. People enrolled in the Journey of the Heart program commit to regular physical exercise.

The number of obese adults, along with related-disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state over the next 20 years. That’s according to a national study released today.

If obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030, 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent, 39 states could have rates above 50 percent, and all 50 states could have rates above 44 percent.

By 2030, Mississippi could have the highest obesity rate at 66.7 percent, and Colorado could have the lowest rate for any state at 44.8 percent.

The numbers come from the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If obesity rates continue to rise at the same rate, the number of new cases of Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke could increase tenfold between 2010 and 2020 — and double again by 2030. The rate is even worse among minorities.

The analysis, which was commissioned by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and conducted by the National Heart Forum, is based on a peer-reviewed model.

"We really cannot afford as a nation to allow our obesity rates to continue to grow," said Michelle Larkin, spokeswoman for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

By 2030, medical costs associated with treating preventable obesity-related diseases are estimated to increase to $66 billion per year in the United States. The report shows that states could prevent obesity-related diseases and dramatically reduce healthcare costs if they reduced the average body mass index of their residents by 5 percent by 2030.

Laurel Morales was a Fronteras Desk reporter in Flagstaff from 2011 to 2020.